How To Make A Homecoming Mum! A Texas Tradition!

How To Make Homecoming Mums

Have you wanted to know how to make a homecoming mum? WAIT, back up… Do you know what a homecoming mum is?? In Texas we have this CRAZY homecoming tradition where guys give girls who they are taking to the game and dance a “mum” and the girls give the guys a “garter” which is a smaller version of the mum they got.

I really didn’t know that the rest of the country didn’t do this until I was in college. I thought everyone did.

Mums started back sometimes in the 60’s. Some guy gave a girl a small mum flower with a ribbon in it to wear to school the day of the homecoming game. Her friends must have thought it was cool and the tradition caught on. It exploded in the 80’s with tons more ribbons and larger fake mums, and is still going VERY strong now.

These are the boys during filming

Mums can be store bought or made at home. Go to any craft store in the fall in Texas and they are loaded with mum making supplies. The cool thing about making your own is that you can save some money and you can make them more personalized.

Recently, the guys have been getting together and actually making the mum for their dates. My son had some friends coming over to make theirs so ABC 13 came over to film and you can see that segment HERE. It is very typical for Moms to help their sons make the mums as well.

Getting Started:

making a homecoming mum 3

Head on out to your local craft store, I went to Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Don’t forget your coupons. These are some of the items I bought:

  • Mum flowers
  • Mum base
  • Ribbon ( a med – large mum had 40-50 strands)
  • Beads
  • Garland
  • Teddy Bear
  • Homecoming Trinkets
  • Hot Glue Stapler
  • Thick cording for neck strap
  • Stickers
  • Personalized items per girl (like basketball or dance )

homecoming mum instructions

They sell mum bases for the top part that the mum attached to. They come in packs of 2 and I bought 1 for each boy. Then at home I cut out a piece of cardboard to go in-between the 2 in the package, this will add some sturdiness.

You will also need some solid colored ribbon in the school colors. I chose a 1 inch blue, and 1/2 inch green and white. Out of this ribbon I cut 20 3 foot lengths to start the mum off. This is the majority of the ribbon. I bought silver and some sparkly sections to add in. Do the fancier ones more on the top, so they show.

I stapled as many on the cardboard base as I could.

assembling a homecoming mum

Like I said above, I used the solid colors more on the bottom then added the nicer and fancier ribbon and items to the top. When I got to the beads and heavy items, I had to hot glue those on.

homecoming mum

Then I used some heavy cording for the neck strap. When I was in high school we were able to pin them to our shirts and bra strap and they were fine. These are heavy enough that you wear them around your neck. I just used myself to measure the length and stapled it on.

homecoming mum 2

Now that it could hang, I can start adding on the heavy stuff. This is also where I took some Christmas garland and around the brown cardboard you see, I stapled it to give a frame to the mum section. People often use ribbon for this, but the garland was MUCH faster and cheaper even.

Homecoming mum 4

I took the Mum and the base and hot glued them on. Well, actually this is where the boys got home from school and started helping.

Homecoming Mum Base

We used a zip tie to attach the teddy bear and hot glued his body in the position that we wanted it to stay in. Traditionally a lot of mums have teddy bears either in the center of hanging off the bottom. My son’s date loves dolphins and so he did a dolphin instead.

I used a LOT of hot glue!

This is when the boys really started to personalize their mum, from things the girls like to do to school colors and the year they are graduating.

They were actually pretty good at using the hot glue and were having a lot of fun. They are much more creative then I give them credit for. I had overbought on purpose, so that they had a lot of options, I just returned things we didn’t use.

The cost of a mum at a grocery store is about $40 – $250. You can have them personalized for additional money. But of course like anything, you don’t get something as nice as if you make it. They use less ribbon and they are not as big.

The mums that we made would have cost anywhere from $150 – $200 in the store. We made them for about $75 each.

Try to save some money by thinking outside the box. I shopped the dollar stores and the Christmas section at the craft stores. Many of the items sold as homecoming items are priced more but are really just Christmas garland marked up. I used coupons and looked for clearance items.

For example, above you will see the Party and Spirit basketball that was $7.99. I just bought a foam basketball from Dollar Tree and cut it in half for $1. Now I have 2 basketballs for the mums and saved $17!

finished homecoming mum

The boys did an awesome job and even more fun was how proud of themselves they were. They are all so excited to give their dates their mums it is so fun!

One of the guys has not asked his date yet, he is doing that this weekend. He is so nervous and worried she will say no. I am seriously nervous for him! He didn’t put her name on the mum, but took stickers with him so he could after he was sure she said yes. How cute is that?!

If you are in Texas and need a mum, make sure to make one yourself or contact some of the Moms who make them this time of year to save yourself some serious money!

how to make a homecoming mum 2


  1. says

    Tiffany –
    Nope we did not do them in Maryland!!! Imagine my surprise when I moved to Texas with my teens!!!
    Last year I freaked out over the prices and decided YEP I CAN DO IT!
    Being the daughter of a high end florist back home… I KNEW I could make one!
    So off I went!
    Now I am known by my kids mom as the MUM Queen! IF it can be put on a mum… I learned how to attach it!

    DONT FORGET TO ADD CANDY! LOL This was my request last year!

    T’s mum ended up super cute!!! Hope A&A and H do too!!!

    • Karen says

      Funny I am from Maryland and we are stationed here in Texas and this was such a new thing for me. Crazy how expensive they are so I am going to attempt to make one.

    • debb says

      Im from Maryland and just moved to Texas and one day I just wearin these things to school im like “whats happening?? ” so im going to try to make one this year.

  2. Anonymous says

    I loved reading this post! I have lived in Missouri my whole life, but my twin cousins live in Atlanta, Texas. I visited them on homecoming weekend one year when were teenagers. They had beautiful maroon and white mums (and they had one for me to wear too!). I loved it and I am glad the tradition continues. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jena says

    I think this is the craziest tradition I’ve seen since moving to Texas! But mostly because of the ridiculous amount of money some parents spend on these. I think you did it right! Save money, and great memories with your son.

  4. Jen Suter says

    The boys look so cute making the mums. My date secretly paid my mom to make mine. I was shocked to see some have gotten so big that you need to wear them around your neck!

  5. Tiffany says

    Darn I completely forgot part of the instructions where I attached the mom base to the cardboard base and then took the third white plane base and hot glued back to the back of the cardboard base. That way all of the staples are covered up and you don’t see the ugly back of the mom and it doesn’t snag on the girls shirt

  6. Anonymous says

    I have never heard of this! I’m from PA. Our biggest Homecoming tradition is the parade before the game. All the different clubs, grades, sports teams, student council, etc build floats for the parade. If you get invited to a “flower-fluffing” party, that is a big deal. They are just colored napkins that you trim and staple and poof out to make fake flowers. I’m looking forward to those days with my kids.

    I love that you helped all the boys with their mums. You know we need an update and more pictures now, right?!

  7. Erika Alaniz says

    Its a crazy Texas tradition but I LOVE it. I made mums with my mom and friends when I was a teen and this year will be the 2nd year I make them for my step daughter and her best friend. Its a great bonding experience.

  8. Kristina says

    My daughter, who is 16, and I, were just talking about this “jumbo” mum (the one you have to wear around your neck)…WHAT, the ONLY mums we had were the ones you wore on your shirt!
    Boy, do I feel old :)

  9. jamie says

    We just finished the garter mum my daughter is giving her homecoming date. I have been picking up pieces here and there for over a month(to make her mum)-ended up spending less than $15 for what would have easily cost $75:) Along the way I discovered that Michael’s takes Hobby Lobby and Joann crafts coupons….who knew? and glue dots hold the bells down better than scotch tape.
    Have you seen the new thing- Homecoming rings? OH MY GOODNESS!! My daughter is gone to a sleepover tonight and were asked to bring 3 yards of ribbon so each girl will have plenty to choose from.
    By the way-the boys did an amazing job!

  10. says

    Hahah!!! Too funny! We live in Texas and I had seen things about Mums all over the place–and there was even a note from the teacher saying that the kids in school weren’t allowed to give/get them (my daughter is in Kindergarten, haha) and not being from here originally I was completely confused! Thanks so much for enlightening me! 😀

  11. Shannon says

    New to Texas with a daughter who is a freshman this year, so the mums are new to me as well. Do freshmen wear them? When do they wear them? Right now my daughter and her friends are talking about going to homecoming without dates so I guess we would be making them ourselves. But in case, does anyone have a picture of the guys garter? Thank you.

    • Tiffany says

      THey wear them to school the day of the game and to the game. Yes freshman wear them and if they dont have dates then you can make one for them.

  12. Jena says

    We wore them in Oklahoma too. I loved getting to pick out what I wanted to add to mine every year. Well we moved to Wisconsin and my daughters wanted one so we have been making them. I think they’ll be the only ones in school with one. Apparently it’s a southern thing because no one up here has no clue what I’m talking about. Love it!!!

  13. Laura says

    It’s not a “Southern” thing. No one in the South does this, only TX (and apparently OK) and neither of those states are in the South. We moved to Texas from MS and thought it “strange” when we saw these. Then we saw boys wearing them…

    • Terri Garza says

      Is commom in Texas. I learned Wisconsin doesn’t do them but I did 2 of them for my daughters(trying to keep our homecoming Texas tradition) and my co-workers loved it and founded interesting.

  14. Kelly V says

    We did it in NE Oklahoma when I was in school which was 25 something years ago. The only difference was the guys didn’t make them or give them. It was strictly a school spirit thing. Since, then I haven’t seen any of the schools do it in years until I moved here and my daughter is excited about it.

  15. Barbara says

    Thank you so much for this! I have 3 boys in elem/preschool and thought I had a few more years… But the middle is playing little league football! Where there’s a mini parade and he and I get to wear matching mums/garter bands! Lol thank goodness on a much smaller scale!!!!

  16. Katie says

    At the high school where I teach the girls have overalls they have decorated. They then attach the mums to the buckles on their overalls. The freshmen can only use white ribbons, sophomores do school colors, juniors do silver, and seniors do gold. And they all have cowbells attached. And don’t forget the bottles of bubbles too haha. We always pack our advil that day. :-)

  17. Crystal says

    It’s been 40 years since I was in school and we did the mum thing here in Oklahoma back then, but not the garters for the guys. Then along came my son and the mums had gotten bigger and the boys wore garters. It’s been 22 years since my son was in school. I miss those days. I may be old but I still have ribbons from my mums. Good memories!!

  18. Anonymous says

    My niece and nephew in Texas posted pictures several.years ago of theirs and they were great. I think it a great tradition to tie the Texas schools to gather in a fun way.

  19. rod swales says

    My niece and nephew in Texas posted pictures several.years ago of theirs and they were great. I think it a great tradition to tie the Texas schools to gather in a fun way.

  20. Dana says

    I grew up in Texas and this was huge! I now live in Colorado and the booster club started saling them last year. They are using real flowers and they are very simple. I made garters for my daughters cheer team and it was a lot of fun. This year I’m going Texas big!

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